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Israel – Cabinet decides: Businesses can open, no limit to leaving home

The Coronavirus Cabinet approved the opening of businesses which do not operate with audiences or open reception hours on Thursday afternoon as well as the abolition of the 1,000 meter limit on leaving the house.

The changes will come into effect on Sunday afternoon.

Beaches and parks will also be permitted to open. The number of worshippers allowed at the Western Wall will be increased and restaurants will be allowed to offer take out.

The ministers will vote on the reopening of the education system later this evening.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting that, “So far, the lockdown has been a huge success. We have seen a consistent decline in all virus-related stats. We’d like to see the country moving towards goals proposed to us by the Ministry of Health, and do this in a way that avoids another closure in two or three weeks. We need to move ahead cautiously.”

“There is no doubt that we’ve experienced a great deal of success that is already being discussed around the world—especially Europe, where a number of countries have already passed us by in terms of the infection rate, and are only now trying to decide what we’ve already established.”

“I would also like to point out that the dramatic drop in morbidity over the past three weeks has been influenced by people conforming to health guidelines. Our part as elected officials is to continue calling on the public to heed directives, including wearing masks and social distancing,” he concluded.

The head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, presented the ministers with data indicating a consistent decrease in the national infection rate.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that despite his earlier opposition, he would agree to begin the first phase of the reopening as early as this coming Sunday.

Netanyahu noted that if infections return, restrictions will be reimposed.

Minister Meirav Cohen said at the hearing, “When we remove the rule against venturing within a kilometer of one’s home, people will finally have an opportunity to visit their parents and grandparents. I call on the public to visit their family members as soon as possible while following the health safety guidelines.”

Former Defense Minister and right-wing chairman Naftali Bennett responded Thursday afternoon to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks about the effectiveness of the lockdown in the Corona Cabinet, in which he called the lockdown a “success.”

“Mr. Prime Minister, a lockdown is not a ‘success’. A lockdown is a devastating blow that destroys the lives of millions of people, and the second unnecessary lockdown is the result of the terrible administrative failure of your government,” Bennett argued.

He said, “The first lockdown was necessary, and was intended to buy us a respite. But your government completely wasted the May-June respite. You did nothing to promote and prevent a second lockdown. I already presented you with a plan to prevent a second lockdown in June, and you did nothing about it.”

“Stop the lockdown policy. You must remove the hammer from the head of the citizens of Israel and switch to the precise and close management of tweezers,” Bennett added.

Source: Arutz Sheva